It’s really exhilarating to get some air & stick a landing when I snowboard. In regular language, this means I do a jump and land without getting hurt. How often does this happen for me? This is almost never because I’m injury averse having experienced too many medical adventures with snowboarding. But getting air isn’t only exhilarating, it’s also very healthy & I contend, necessary for vibrant living.
I say this from learning about King David’s son, Absalom in 2Samuel. I’ve been reading about Absalom this week and I’m coming to see him as the poster child for death by slow suffocation, the absence of air. Lots of bad things happen to and around Absalom. I would suggest that he didn’t express or give air in a healthy way to the pains and wounds that he experienced from these bad things. Here are some examples to demonstrate the lack of air or expression from these bad things:
- Tamar, his sister, gets raped by her half-brother, Amnon. Absalom tells her to live in his house and never says anything to Amnon for two years
- Absalom is so angry with Amnon that he kills him, never talking with his dad about Amnon’s violence
- Absalom is estranged from his dad for more than two years and no connection with his dad
- Upon being reconciled with his dad, Absalom proceeds to steal the hearts of Israel whenever anyone comes to get justice from his dad, the king
- Absalom connives for some years and covertly plans to overthrow his dad and become King of Israel, even publically sleeping with his dad’s concubines
There’s no documented conversation between Absalom and his dad to clear the air on all these injuries, nor have I read that Absalom sought to communicate his hurt to receive healing and positively resolve these many wounds. Should he have talked with his dad and expressed his hurt and anger? Should he have made efforts to communicate with Amnon, his half-brother who raped his sister? I’m not convinced that talking with either his dad or brother would have been helpful to Absalom, but he needed to talk with someone and get some air around these wounds. But instead, Absalom ingested his pain and didn’t give any air or expression to these injuries.
When we’re hurt, it’s important to give some air and expression to the wound or injury. Similar to a cut on our hand, we need to clean out the cut before we cover it. So does this mean that when someone hurts our feelings that we make hurtful posts on social media and let the world know about our injury? When we’re hurt by someone, should we tell everyone including the injuring person about our pain? What should we do when we’re hurt?
Here are some helpful tips for wound care and healing:
- Wash out the wound: bring the wound to Jesus and express your pain; it can often be helpful to share with a person about the wound and open up about the pain, giving some air to the wound
- Forgive the person: you can do this to their face or in a letter or conversation; but at the minimum forgive them in your heart so the wound doesn’t get infected
- Cover the wound: ask Holy Spirit to help you cover / protect the wound from stuff getting inside and making it fester with more pain
- Keep the wound aerated: from time to time, it’s helpful to uncover the wound to look at the healing progress, ensuring that your forgiveness stays fresh and you’re giving Holy Spirit access for continued healing
In this human experience, I’m learning that it’s important to give air / expression to wounds and injuries so that Holy Spirit can bring healing and redemption for the hurts we encounter in life. Get some air!